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This ad for a push-up bra is rather cool, when you consider the model is male. Certainly an effective means of demonstrating its effectiveness, even aside from the cuteness on display. ^_^

Darac spotted one of the more adorable tourist websites: Visit Iceland in a Flying Machine, starring an anthropomorphic country. (Not to be confused with the comic, Scandinavia and the World)

Minorly interesting nugget in this interview with Steven Moffat: apparently, they don't currently see any two-parters in the next season of Doctor Who. He even cites audience research (eep!) pointing to audience appreciation and viewing figures always dropping with the second part of a story. I'd like to look into that, to see how true that is, and see if I can work out why that would be so. Certainly, there've been some clunkers (Daleks of Manhattan, oy!), but then there was The End of Time, with a voraciously carpet-chewing Timothy Dalton. =:D (Though in that regard, he'd have to go a long way to surpass his turn in Hot Fuzz =:)

Two very short shorts you might care to peek at, both for the visuals (especially the latter, with a boatload of heavy-duty compositing Michel Gondry would be proud of), and the soundtracks, which share their origins of Nodey & Omar Tryana. First up is a 1m30 stop motion animation, not really with any particular narrative, but plenty of geometric imagination: Protéigon. Then, there's a 2m30 tourism spot, of all things, for Fontrevaud Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Welcome to Fontrevaud. With both of them, I'd recommend some good speakers or headphones, if possible.

Don't suppose anyone here has experience with ultra-wide angle lenses? I'd be interested in hearing peeps' experiences with any. Sometime in 2012, I'd like to lay my paws on something down at the low end of the focal length spectrum - the ideal, of course, would be the Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8, but whilst that's top-rate in every regard, it's also not quite the cheapest. (Now there's a surprise, in lens selection..) More realistically, I'm tempted by the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6. Not the fastest UWA around, but seems to be reasonably sharp, at least in the central area, and not bad on the chromatic aberrations front either - and going down to 10mm, even on a crop body, would open up new photographic possibilities. ^_^ But the Tokina 11-16mm seems also well regarded - perhaps sharper, but not as good on CA. And then there's the Sigma 8-16mm, which advances the art into Ridiculously Ultra Wide.. =:) Realistically, I suspect I'll wind up with the 10-20mm, primarily for cost, and its usefully wide range.
 
 
 
 
 
 
I've just befriended Iceland. It was irresistibly cute :3
I really need to get along there sometime. ^_^ Trouble is, of course, I don't know anyone there, so I'd be stuck having to pay for hotels, or settle for hostels (I like my own private nook), and Iceland's not overly cheap.. still, I ought to look into how practical even just a few days might be, with a view to capturing some of the natural wonder photographically - even, perhaps, a bit of the wildlife, if I can locate some likely spots to try within that limited time.

Any country willing to work on its constitution through a deliberately open, public process, even unto social media, definitely has some things to teach other upstart nations. =:)
I'd love to go there, and going with someone else helps cutting back on costs too!

I'm quite surprised to learn that fact. Only goes to prove how developed they are, Britain could learn a lot :P
On Doctor Who two-parters, I think it was Barry Letts who worked out, as far back as Season Seven, that it was the first episode of each story that got the viewers hooked, which was why Season Eight saw a move towards four episode stories and more 'opening nights'.

The cliffhanger endings worked throughout the 1963-1989 run, but they don't quite work in the same way now. The most awesome are those which work on a dramatic level (The End of Time: The Time Lords are back, and they have a budget! Bad Wolf: The Doctor's declared war on the Daleks!) rather than the old 'how is the Doctor/companion going to get out of this mildly perilous situation?' Aliens of London had a few problems, but the totally non-suspenseful cliffhanger was the most obvious, pointing out just how far TV had moved on since the days when you could get away with a gurning Tom Baker fading into the credit sequence.
Oh, but those classic (in every sense!) cliffhangers, so often ushered in with a dramatic zoom in, as that wondrous theme sting hit.. indeed, it'd be difficult to get away with something like that now, not to mention the pacing so often observed then.

All the same, I'll miss the longer stories - as with The End of Time, sometimes the story simply is larger than 45 minutes, of such scope that attempting to do so would feel highly compressed.

I do wonder at the number of people that seemingly give up on the second parts, but perhaps that's simply people having gauged that this isn't a story that's catching them, and so they'll give the latter portion a pass?

Myself, I'd actually enjoy stronger story arcs, even to the point of Babylon 5 - there needn't be any let-up in the Doctor and friends zooming around time and space, trying to stop something happening, or maybe (for a change!) trying to ensure it does. The scale could be oh, so grand.. maybe Steven Baxter's "Space", or Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon the Deep", spanning millennia and galaxies, yet in such a way that we genuinely feel the immensity of scope, rather than whipping out some incredible number as a year, completely in isolation to anything else we've seen.